“Theatre and Archival Memory analyses a pivotal but under-explored period in Irish theatre history. Using a staggering array of archival sources – many of which have never before been written about – this book will have a transformative impact on Irish theatre history and historiography.”
—Professor Patrick Lonergan, MRIA. Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies, NUI Galway.
"Breathtaking in its precision and originality, Barry Houlihan's monograph offers a dynamic engagement with the archive which expands the canon of Modern Irish Drama as we know it. Productions and key figures are brought to glorious life through Houlihan's unrivalled range of source materials, interviews, artefacts and ephemera which illuminate previously unknown histories of gender, class and social conditions in Twentieth Century Irish Theatre."
—Melissa Sihra, Head of Drama and Associate Professor, Trinity College Dublin.
This book presents new insights into the production and reception of Irish drama, its internationalisation and political influences, within a pivotal period of Irish cultural and social change. From the 1950s onwards, Irish theatre engaged audiences within new theatrical forms at venues from the Pike Theatre, the Project Arts Centre, and the Gate Theatre, as well as at Ireland’s national theatre, the Abbey.
Drawing on newly released and digitised archival records, this book argues for an inclusive historiography reflective of the formative impacts upon modern Irish theatre as recorded within marginalised performance histories. This study examines these works' experimental dramaturgical impacts in terms of production, reception, and archival legacies. The book, framed by the device of ‘archival memory’, serves as a means for scholars and theatre-makers to inter-contextualise existing historiography and to challenge canon formation. It also presents a new social history of Irish theatre told from the fringes of history and reanimated through archival memory.
Dr. Barry Houlihan
is an Archivist at National University of Ireland, Galway. He teaches theatre history and archival studies, digital cultures, and history. Barry is the editor of Navigating Ireland’s Theatre Archive: Theory, Practice, Performance
(2019) and contributes regularly to RTÉ Brainstorm
on topics of theatre, literature and cultural and archival heritage.